Science proves: self-realization shows in your home design.
At Bioharmonized, we love when personality oozes from someone at first sight. As designers, we immediately imagine the home as a reflection of the true-self. Even before our eyes have seen the home, we are enlivened and feel excited. Spaces have proven to have life-changing psychological effects on people’s perception of Self. Hence, on self-development, nurturing, and The Joy of Being You, personal growth and happiness are an important part of our work.
For this residence, our initial task was to bring together an eclectic art collection along with its memories, providing our clients with numerous art pieces from around the world, showcasing the true nature of their innovative, relentless, noble-hearted, authentic personalities. And today: boat builders.
Can your home make you get closer to your Self?
Humans. We are troubadours – we tell stories about times and places while we seek to make sense of this fantastical world. We seek answers to help us cope with the circumstances of life. Life is our quest towards self-understanding actualization; although it may seem difficult to understand to some, we have always considered it attainable – inevitable even. So how is living a better life tied to self-understanding? And how can we leverage space to better understand ourselves?
By nature, we are emotionally attached to our memories. They make up who we are today and are tied to our sense of Self. Our sense of Self, of who we are, is what gives us a sense of control and security as we navigate through life. As we tell our personal stories to one another, each one of us can find how the places we have experienced and the things we own in our lives play a significant role in shaping who we are today and who we can become tomorrow.
In her book Home as Mirror of Self, Clare Cooper Markus eloquently analyzes how the relationship between ourselves and where we live is part of our search for a place for the soul. She is not the only one though, who has studied how spaces and places play a transformative role in our lives. In his book, Childhood Memory Spaces, Roger C. Aden explains how our brain has a GPS system of places we connect with and particular emotions, making up what we consider home.
With this knowledge, it becomes less surprising how some people wish to create a Tuscan-inspired home in the middle of the desert. It’s the memories they want to bring back, the connections they have to the place, and their personal ideas of ‘home’.
Caroline and Philippe had been on numerous adventures. From flipping hotels to becoming high-end boat builders. Here they are seen holding an award for the world‘s first solar-assisted catamaran. Their lives were a collection of places they had lived in and objects of art tied to the same.
In this stage of their lives, they wished to spend time in a home custom-made to fit their unique preferences and habits. A place where they could dwell and express their whole Selves, their values, goals, and passions. With our guidance, which created an instrument for them to amplify the desires of their true Selves, we were able to manifest Panama’s first sustainable home, according to Swiss Standard’s in the country.
The insider Story
The apartment was located in a twenty-six-story residential tower on the ocean side of Paitilla, a classy residential area of Panama City. It’s on a quiet street, away from the urban hubbub, with stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Paitilla is one of Panama City’s most desirable areas; a very exclusive spot.
While the location was beautiful, it’s interiors we not. This property needed a complete re-design. We stripped it to its bones.
After carefully analyzing our client’s diverse, eclectic art collection from China, Thailand, Italy, and India, displaying classic Asian and European motifs, warm reds and oranges, cool blues and greens, we knew that tying together so many different styles, contrasting colors and aesthetics, this would be a challenging design.
For a start, the valuable pieces arrived in a 40-foot container from worldwide, shipped by the most renowned art specialists. Have we mentioned our job is very adventuresome?
The beauty of remaining true to your nature
Swiss-quality boat builders, Caroline and Philippe, have an intricate eye for detail and high standards regarding sustainability. They wanted to build a home displaying the spirit Switzerland’s. We were delighted, as our hearts likewise beat in the rhythm of excellence to create an environment that reflected their personal interests, idiosyncrasies, and achievements, channeling the fruit of their careers into a broad-ranging, vibrant, and inspiring space to empower them to go forth and conquer.
We developed the energetic calculations for the apartment according to Swiss standards. Acquiring materials in the local market which, in time, proved to be a great challenge. This was one of the many other constructive innovation challenges we had to conquer in Panama. We installed the first double glass, insulated, thermal bridge windows in the country.
This led to one-third of the energy consumption compared to the other apartments in the tower while ensuring the highest of comforts through central air conditioning.
Additionally, Caroline and Philippe were interested in raising regional awareness about sustainable building and making a significant contribution to Panamanian property development. The actual construction work for the project was to be completed using only local tradesmen and small-scale craftsmen whose skills were merely rudimentary.
This was no ordinary commission.
Our soul collects experiences eternally
We organized the different styles within the home, which were a reflection of our client’s past experiences, memories, and emotions. A strong Asian influence accompanied by reds, browns, and black is one of the main design pillars that testify to their multi-layered personas as entrepreneurs and world travelers. Moreover, the modern European blues and grays, tied into their background in the boating world and a relatively cool, organized, and responsible attitude towards life. Last but not least, there was the color green, in this case, connected to their sophisticated taste and a glamorous, almost Art Deco tinted, sense for beauty. To say it otherwise: no color of the rainbow was omitted.
We clapped our hands together in childlike joy: We knew we could solve this puzzle.
The solution seemed evident. Something needed to tie everything together, as every space would have a particular use and style. Before even starting the design, our client already had a Chinese room, a modern blue bedroom, and a green Art Deco-inspired office space in mind.
The floor was the feature that had to tie it all together. Its pattern would be similar throughout the apartment as well as its base color-pale green. Its complimentary colors and patterns would sinuously and subtly change from space to space. It was true magick. Especially considering the incredible amount of work, with the sparsely-available trained local workforce.
Being one Self comes at a price
Our clients were not the only ones remaining true to their nature. We, too, could do nothing but “do what we have to do”, to innovate! Knowing one’s values and having a high awareness of Self comes at a price: doing the right thing… always!
Despite Panama being a flourishing country, construction techniques compared to Europe remain relatively basic. Similar to all of our other projects, we could not help ourselves but do something out of the box, unique. Besides creating the first fully-insulated home according to Swiss norms, we also installed numerous design innovations like the city’s largest mirroring tensed ceiling.
The flooring pattern was sophisticated, and the workers were overwhelmed by its complexity. Likewise, the companies involved in cutting the pieces to measure and organizing them for transport and installation struggled to reach our high-quality standards.
It was challenging for some to bring to life the smooth and shiny finish of the marble and granite combination flooring. No one, except for our humble, 75-year-old Ernesto from Italy (call him here), accepted this challenge.
In order to build every single handmade door, our constant instruction was needed, training the local craftsmen instead of simply importing and installing the doors.
Some pieces of art were too big to be transported in and out of the elevator. Our solution was to place someone holding the art on top of the elevator and send them up the shaft. Unthinkable in some places of the world!
Your ‘Interior Style’ means more than you think
In his book, Shape Power, Dan A. Davidson, a physicist, explores how shapes and lines hold energy. Likewise, artists, like Bigel Stanford, show how sound has a shape. In his cymatic musical compositions, he connects a vibratory plate sprinkled with sand to his equipment and shows how our bodies are influenced by things no one ever tells us about: frequency.
Consequently, the interior design style you consider to be the one most suitable to your personality can not be chosen randomly. Every line has a subconscious effect on your body, hence biochemistry, emotions, and personal development.
Design styles reflecting our clients’ Selves
Caroline and Philippe had owned several beautiful homes around the world, but this one was to be different. It was time for a home to encompass everything they were rather than just a part of it.
In ‘El Crillon’ three main design styles were present. Clearly, the Asian influence brought about reds, browns, blacks, and gold, synonymous for their vigor, strength, leadership, courage, and determination. Red tones definitively symbolized their personal stories and attitudes in life. In Chinese culture, the color red also stands for vitality, long life, happiness, and success, most of which were at the top of our client’s minds. Many Asian cultures, present in their art, are rich in playing cards, ceramics, architecture, music, literature, martial arts, cuisine, visual arts, and philosophy.
The understanding and appreciation of these were intrinsic to Caroline and Philippe’s senses of Self. Throughout their lives, they have always strived towards order, organization, and bringing value to others through their work. Now, as boatbuilders, their work is a meticulous and precise labor of love as they develop niche ultra custom-made yachts for their clients. As many Asian cultures like the Thai tend towards excellence in service to others, their mental attitude reflects through their furniture and art.
Then came silver, the blues, and the grays. Beautifully balancing their powerful natures, they wished to incorporate the calm tones of the sea. Both adored boating for its meditative aspects, offering a calm escape and generating a space to de-stress. While their work comprehended a lot of social interaction, at sea they could enjoy its serenity and tranquility. A perfect environment to soothe the nervous system through sound and sight. In the bedroom, the feeling of the sea was evident in the design of a floating bed, a clean view of the ocean, and modern pieces of art.
The third design influence was green alongside the Art Deco. Our clients were European, and Art Deco stood for a captivating and nostalgic feeling, representing glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress. The last yet again, being one of their motors in life. Art Deco also combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials, which, again, was the perfect metaphor for our client’s work as boat builders. Furniture, just like on their vessels, featured finished, glossy surfaces, which, during the Art Deco period, the style was used throughout many man-made crafts such as buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, cinemas, trains.
A touch of Art Deco would tie their European roots into this apartment, which became the image of their best Selves.
El Crillon won The International Property Awards in several categories amongst which Best Interior Design Panama, Best Interior Design Latin America and Carribbean and Best Constructive Development. Visit it here